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Slowly time transforms tragedy into redemption, but not before Billie Jo leaves home and her father begins to dig his grave. In the end it is endurance that saves them.

What caused the Dust Bowl?

Vibrant descriptions and spirited characters in Out of the Dust furnish an ideal opportunity for a class to study character development. Below we list a reading strategy and discussion questions for each season chapter. You can use the discussion questions provided or allow the activities to drive discussion. We have found that reading the book chapter by chapter is sufficient to generate interesting topics for discussion.

Allow a few days for exploring background material, but otherwise these activities constitute a unit that could be finished in about three weeks. This documentary provides a fine overview of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl disaster. My students were impressed with the film, and the images in it often reappeared as connections in their responses to the text. Read aloud the first season to be sure that each student understands the main characters and has a clear picture of the setting.

Then have students fill out a Venn diagram, two interconnected circles, that aid in comparing ideas. Students put elements from their lives in one circle and circumstances from Billie Jo's in the other. Explore the similarities between Billie Jo's life and their own by noting where the circles intersect. This aspect of character development allows students to observe the connections all human beings share. Read this season aloud and have students listen for words or phrases that describe the setting.

Tape record the reading, and while students listen to the account a second time, ask them to draw images that the text suggests. Afterward, display these drawings and ask students to comment on the qualities of the descriptive language and elements of the setting. Have students describe Billie Jo by tracing the important events in her life over the course of the narrative using a "moment map," an activity that educator Barry Lane describes in his book After the End Heinemann, List the seasons in the book on the bottom edge of the paper and write the most important moments in Billie Jo's life above the seasons in which they take place.

Students could add quotations from the book or small pictures that symbolize events. Moment mapping helps students see the big moments in the story and understand how they fit together. Students should continue to add events to their maps as they read the book. Students select a favorite character and use evidence from the book to describe him or her, presenting this information in the form of a full-length drawing of that character.

Lines radiating from the drawing connect to written character attributes. The chart helps students visualize character traits faster than they might by writing a series of sentences about the character.

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse | LibraryThing

As they read this chapter, ask students to focus on the feelings of Billie Jo and her father. Invite them to write a paragraph about the sentiment expressed in this season that supports their representation of characters' emotions with quotations from the text. Students continue their study of characters by using a Triple Venn, three interconnected circles, to demonstrate how the actions of different characters are related.

Students often choose Pa, Billie Jo, and Mad Dog, Billie's close friend, and show how each differs from and is aligned with the other. Ask students to describe the events in the summer of '35 as seen through the eyes of a supporting character. Invite them to add details to their description that only their character would know. Ask students to read the results dramatically without identifying the character telling the story.

Have the other students guess the character's identity. Theme is a difficult literary concept to teach. A picture book that works effectively to guide students to an understanding of this difficult notion is Angels in the Dust by Margot Theis Raven see bibliography , the story of another girl and her family attempting to survive in the Oklahoma Dust Bowl.

https://nextsundifac.ml Roger Essley's drawings help students visualize the enormity of the natural disaster. As the book is read, ask students to listen for recurring images and themes. Following a discussion, have students finish reading Out of the Dust and invite them to write about the life lesson of the novel. As a final review, have students create a story graph to observe how a character's emotions change over time. The vertical bar of the graph suggests an emotional range, such as sadness to happiness or joy to depression. The baseline of the graph follows the major events of the story.

A bonus of studying Out of the Dust is the perspective it gives students on their own lives. Becca, and eighth grader, reflected, "I liked this book because it made me think about how lucky I am to have what I have. It's also very realistic and shows how it was to live back then. I think the theme for this book is to be thankful for what you've got. Also, it says that life's not always fair, and we have to accept who we are and deal with what happens.

We need to take it all in and accept it. In addition to reading Out of the Dust , we've developed a collection for independent reading. Burch, Robert.

Ida Early Comes over the Mountain. When Ida Early comes to live with the Suttons, offering to help out for a time, life becomes as exciting as the tall tales she tells. This hilarious book is appropriate for students with low to average reading skills. Curtis, Christopher Paul. Bud, Not Buddy.

Bud Caldwell is on a journey to find his dad. It is in Flint, Michigan. Bud is being moved from one unsatisfactory foster home to another when he decides to search for Herman E. Calloway, the man mentioned in a flyer his mom left as Bud's inheritance. His adventures provide a look at one boy's survival alone in the Midwest during the Great Depression. DeFelice, Cynthia. Nowhere to Call Home. When her family's fortune is lost in the crash of and her father commits suicide, Francis Elizabeth Barrow is forced out of a life of privilege and sent to live with an aunt in Chicago.

On an impulse, she buys boys' clothes, cuts her hair, and hops a freight train headed west. She meets Stewpot and takes the road name Frankie Blue. Stewpot becomes her friend and protector, but he cannot shield her from the harsh realities of life on the road. Like all of DeFelice's books, this one is instantly engaging. Gates, Doris. Blue Willow. In this Newbery Honor Book, a girl hopes that the new valley her parents have moved to will turn into a real home for her family.

Appropriate for students with low to average reading skills. Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. Scout and her brother and their mysterious neighbor encounter the harsh reality of racism in the South during the Great Depression. This book is appropriate for students with above-average reading ability.

Students find it challenging but satisfying. Porter, Tracey. Treasures in the Dust. Life on the Oklahoma Dust Bowl is accurately described in the letters of two year-old girls, Annie and Violet. Annie's family stays in Oklahoma, while Violet's family takes to the road. A beautifully crafted book and a great companion to Out of the Dust , it is perfect for a middle-school students with average reading ability.

Raven, Margot Theis. Angels in the Dust. Based on a true story, this compelling picture book captures the struggle of an Oklahoma family on a Dust Bowl farm in the s. Realistic pastel illustrations in shades of brown and blue show dust storms of boiling dark dirt dwarfing the family on the drought-stricken farmland.

Despite overwhelming odds, the family manages to survive. Snyder, Zilpha Keatley. Cat Running.

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Twelve-year-old Cat is the strongest runner in her class until Zane Perkins enters her school. Zane and his family are migrants from Oklahoma desperately seeking work near the California town where Cat lives. A return to the enthralling world of BONE with book one in this gripping spin-off novel trilogy, illustrated in four-color! Twelve-year-old Tom Elm is just an ordinary turnip farmer from the Valley, but he's always felt destined for something bigger.


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